Blue7’s cover for speculative comix of my memoir – art by Blue7, Lady K, & Smith
The response I’m getting on the first page of Blue7’s speculative comic book of the story of my 1st armed robbery is phenomenal. Folks are leaving comments saying genius, brilliant, and that for this they’d need a LOVE button instead of a LIKE button to express their feelings.
I agree. I think Blue’s art and approach is absolutely brilliant — I can see exactly why he’s a successful Hollywood storyboard artist. And my words ain’t bad either.
This is a speculative comic he’s doing, done for free by a talented friend in hopes of helping me sell my memoir.
I’m getting tired of the total lack of response from 90% of my inquiries to potential literary agents and publishers and the polite disinterested form letter rejections from the other 10%. If they’re that dense, maybe I’ll bypass them and publish the book myself via Lulu.com, or print 500 copies out of India via our Nepalese poet friend Yuyu. I love it – Lulu, or Yuyu. It’s an omen.
At least that way we’d have a chance of it gaining sales via word-of-mouth because I’d gladly stake my future on what individual readers thought of it, and I have enough of a friend/fan base that we could probably sell 100 copies. If 50% of them liked it enough to convince a friend to buy it, and 50% of them felt the same, etc that’d be 200 books sold.
Plus I know enough cultural media figures and writers around town to get a few articles and reviews and I could advertise in the alternative newspaper and sell a few more at readings etc and we could conceivably end up selling 300-500 books, which would be major bait for a major publication.
Plus this way I could control the look and flow of the book, include some fotos and collages. And I’d put in Blue’s first page of the comic and some of Lady’s comix and we’d have a right fine cultural shindig to bait the bigger budgeted publishers.
It’s an interesting, unusual, dark, funny, underground, outside-the-barcode story I’d read myself if it weren’t already my life. It belongs to the school of Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac, which has no end of possible customer base.
And it could lead to finding a real literary agent and a major publisher.
I’m still going to try a few snail mail inquiries and check out a few more independent publishers and some of the classier university presses, but if I don’t have something concrete by Lady’s birthday this Xmas Eve, I’m putting it out myself.
Screw the dunderheads.
And praise be to Lady who created the whole project, who insisted after hearing my stories that we had a book in there. I dismissed her idea but she went ahead anyway and gathered the material and created version one in Croatia in December 2006. When we returned to the States in fall 2007, she insisted we go down to Mexico to finish it up proper. And we did.
She created the project, gathered the first draft together, passed it to me to edit — and so it went back and forth for ten rewrites each. The final four rewrites I did myself because I know the time line and intricacies needed to finally make it flow all the way through.
Lady also created the cover art and sprinkled my art and fotos throughout as chapter headings. She is one cool lady. Glad she chose me. My first 59 years before her were spectacular, both in ups and downs and adventures illegal and not, but our five years since have raised the bar.
A few friends read version 12 (12 rewrites ago) and liked it, and it’s way better now. And when we read from it at readings, the response is always enthusiastic.
So, sometime in 2011 the book comes out. Right now it’s titled “Criminal – a true story of armed robbery, stolen cars, alternative art, mainstream poetry, underground publishing, robbing the cradle, and leaving the country” by Smith & Lady.
I’m curious how you all feel about that title and would appreciate feedback. Blue7 in his speculative future project to turn it into a seven chapter comic book is using the title “Criminal? The Life and Times of an Honest Man” which I have to admit I like very much as well. His speculative cover art for the memoir comic is above. The round assemblage on the cover is an old art piece of mine, while the color fotograph is a foto Lady took in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2007.
This is it folk. The book’s coming out within the next 12 months unless I have a lot of actual money in my hand and a promise from a publisher. Right now it is 326 pages, 103,484 words and I would hope to sell at $20 or less.
I’m tired of fluxing around with the feeble-minded and the clueless in “Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2010“.
I’ve got the goods, and I’m going to prove it.
Thank you Lady, thank you Blue, and thank you reality for the life I’ve lead (although there could have been a little less pain and a bit more money along the way).
Criminal cover by Lady, art and foto by Smith